Full text of Bishop T.D. Jakes’ sermon titled “DEFYING THE URGE TO QUIT”.
Until you have had the taste of finishing, you will not respect yourself…
Until you follow through, until something is done, come hell or high water, tears and struggles and pain. And you go through it anyway, and you show up, and you continue to fight on and no matter the circumstances…
After a while, something begins to wither inside of you.
Bishop T.D. Jakes:
Greetings Christian brothers and sisters!
What a joy, what a delight it is to share the word of the Lord with you. Our series, ‘Rise Above’ is changing lives and I think you’re going to be blessed, as you arrive above the things that are holding you back.
God has so many things for you and yet there are times that I have to confess even in my own life, there’ve been times that ones throw up a hand to walk away from everything, they saw go crazy! It’s too much for me.
Listen, the message today is to defy the urge to quit.
We all have them. We don’t talk about them but we have moments, where we feel I feel take me away. I’m sick of it. but, you have to fight that urge to quit. Because I always say you’ll win if you don’t quit. Take a look at this, it’ll bless your life.
What do you do when you have to be committed to something you can’t control? And they don’t do it like you want to do it.
I quit. I went to work for a serious pain department as Assistant Manager in the Serious Pain department and the best thing about the job is that I was there a whole year. I had a big celebration at the end of the year. Because to be there a year after working every place else for three months was…
In the back of my mind, I was smart enough to know that though there may have been different things about different jobs that I had legitimate grievances about… that those legitimate grievances did not always require that I quit.
And I was concerned. Because until you have had the taste of finishing, you will not respect yourself. Until you follow through until something is done, come hell or high water, tears and struggles and pain and you go through it anyway, and you show up and you continue to fight on, and no matter the circumstances. After a while, something begins to wither inside of you.
“Love, Beareth all things.”
I haven’t been taught to take anything. I was a baby in my own family. My brothers just weren’t raised like this, but I was they – they did a hard time in prison camp. They were shocked when my mother came in by women said ‘Baby! What you want?’
I had not been nurtured to bear anything – to take anything. And being a man was hard work. Because I didn’t have anybody to show me. And it’s hard to be that you cannot see.
See, some people quit because things are out of control. Nobody quits what you can control. But the moment you get in something where you don’t get your way, or you get reprimanded, or you get corrected or you go through this or you go through that, or you go through the other, or it’s bad conditions or bad circumstances. Then the first thing the immature mind says is “This is ridiculous. I quit.”
And it’s a hard thing.
See! When you come to church, we’re always talking about sins in the flesh. Not being a whoremonger and coming out of adultery and stop life. We give those things so much space. That being a weakling in the spirit can go undetected.
If you aren’t doing drive-by shootings and muggings you could pass for a Christian. And really you really get it done as long as you don’t do anything horrific. I mean, if you didn’t climb down a pole to come to church this morning, you can pass for a mother in Zion.
And the truth of the matter, nobody will know that you can be well as it relates to visible sins. The Bible calls them ‘Sins of the Spirit’. That the Bible talks about ‘Sin of the flesh’ and ‘Sin of the spirit’. There are some things that attack your flesh and there are some things that attack your spirit.
And I’m gonna do like Paul and say this I say but not the Lord, this is something that I have noticed that some people who have a terrible time controlling their fleshly sins, can have real good character and it relates to other areas of their life.
And other people who don’t smoke and don’t drink and don’t chew and don’t run around with them that do, you can’t find out what’s wrong with them until you marry them or get on the job with them or interact with them. They will pass for holy until you find out that they don’t keep their word that they will give up easily, they don’t complete their assignments, you can’t trust him to stand by you.
And know they wouldn’t take a drink for nothing in the world but they wouldn’t fight with you in a lion-deer. And sometimes you have a choice, Oh-oh god, Help me!
You’d almost rather have the other person in a dog fight that to have somebody who is morally good and the character is so defected, That you don’t know what they’re gonna do from one moment to the next.
Can I preach this morning?
I never will forget when I was a young Minister, newly married. I had a friend of mine who was much older than me, who was going through a real tough time in his marriage. And I didn’t even support or believe in for that matter divorce at that time, but his marriage got so bad. I told him ‘you ought to get out’.
I said you ought to just get out! I watched him suffer so bad, I thought you ought to quit. He was so lonely that he got a dog and named it ‘Friend’. Oh no, I’m not being funny. I’m serious.
See you don’t know what people go through behind the scenes, trying to cope with life. And I watched him take so many blows in his heart, in his masculinity, and his character that it was so hard to watch.. Once I wanted him to divorce her so I didn’t have to see it.
He stayed. Things got worse and then it got better. Then it got worse. And this sickness came in and then it got really bad. Throwing up on him, urinating on him, cleaning her up. You see, you could go through stuff and never know what’s going to happen down the road, or who you’re gonna need.
My mother used to say, ‘You never know who’s gonna have to pass you, you’re the last glass of water’. And he stuck it out, until the end.
And I was at the funeral, listening to him – screaming and crying, over a person who I knew had broken his heart into pieces over and over again. And yet there was some bond between them, deeper than what my young eyes could see.
And I remember thinking you finished. I have never seen it before. You finished. You went all the way to the end for better and worse, and sickness and health, and richer and poor.… You went through all of that stuff. All the way to the end.
It was amazing to see somebody who finished outside of convenience.
I lost a lot of stuff, I lost a lot of friends, I lost a lot of strength, I lost a lot of courage, I lost a lot of time, I lost a lot of money. But I kept down on my knees. I was still believing. Broke, I was believing, lonely I was believing. Betrayed I was believing.
If you lose the job, keep the faith,
If you lose the spouse, keep the faith,
If you’re bearing a child, keep the faith,
If you have to downsize, keep the faith.…
If you have to move in with your mother, keep the faith…
It’s not what they say about you that matters. It is what you say about you that threatens your destiny. You will never be defeated by what they say about you. You will be defeated by what you say about you.
I want to talk to women, who are called to go into the next dimension.
“This is the life-changing event of the year.” – Oprah
“No matter where you are, what you’ve been through, where you come from, you can do it.”
Paul writes to Timothy and says, ‘I fought a good fight. Let me know being me is not easy. It’s not for the faint of heart, it’s not in my suits.’ You can get suits like me, but they won’t make you stand like me. I fought a good fight, baby. I fought one day hell of a fight.
How many fighters are in here? Get somebody. Tell them I fought a good fight.
I fought my way up, I fought to get to work, I fought to get up on my feet, I fought to stand, I fought to carry on, I fought to love, I fought to live, I fought to get out the bed, I fought with my fears, my doubts, my anxieties, my insecurities. I fought with haters, liars, backbiters and betrayers. I even had to fight with my family. And many times I laid in the bed, I couldn’t go to sleep because I was fighting with myself. I have fought.
Have somebody tell them, I fought a good fight.
I mean, I thought such a good fight when I look at what other people call a fight, what they call a fight is what I call normal. My whole perception of what a fight is has been revolutionized. That’s not a fight.
I fought a good fight. The old man tells the young man.
I fought a good fight, you might not have seen it. You saw the glamour. You saw the healings. ‘Be healed, be healed, be healed.’ But let me tell you what you didn’t see? I fought to do that… good fight. I kept the fights.
I lost a lot of stuff, I lost a lot of friends, I lost a lot of strength, I lost a lot of courage, I lost a lot of time, I lost a lot of money. But I kept down on my knees. I was still believing. Broke, I was believing, lonely I was believing, betrayed I was believing.
Keep the faith, keep the faith.
- If you lose the job, keep the faith.
- If you lose the spouse, keep the faith.
- If you bury your child, keep the faith.
- If you have to downsize, keep the faith.
- If you have to move in with your mama, keep the faith.
- If you had to wincy and keep the faith.
- If you have to catch the bus, keep the faith.
- If you have to come, keep the faith.
- If you get sick, keep the faith.
- If you lose your kidneys, keep the faith.
- If you have a heart trouble, keep the faith.
You might not get a new heart, but you gotta keep your faith.
Then he says, the old man says to the young man, ‘I finished my course’.
I am concerned, because we are living in a world that has become comfortable with going to school and getting an incomplete. The danger of living a life of incompletes.
Three or four sets of families, three or four sets of kids. Nobody can count on you – to stay. Forget women, forgive women to stay. You don’t have to be a superhero. Nobody can count on you to stay. Just stick it out to endure. Nobody can count on you, past happy.
They used to come in my office and say, I’m leaving him because he’s beaten me. I’m leaving him because he abused my children, I’m leaving him because he’s homicidal.
Now, they come in my office, they say ‘I’m leaving because I’m not happy’. You’re not happy! Who told you, you were gonna be happy? What does that have to do with anything? Who do you know in your life that is happy all the time? You quit because you weren’t happy?
To the person who keeps quitting — You have to live with that infection that you carry that propensity to never finish.
Paul says “I’ve finished my course”. I didn’t finish yours, I didn’t finish yours, I didn’t finish yours, I didn’t finish yours and I’m not into your business. I’m not trying to get in your business.
People who are trying to finish their course are not nosy. Because they are so focused trying to finish what they started. I don’t have time to worry about what’s going on in your house. I’m so busy trying to manage what’s going on in mine.
It’s all I can do – to finish my course.
Somebody in this room – you’ve quit so many things – that you’ve lost respect for yourself. Somebody said ‘Give me the grace to endure’. Don’t misunderstand it, you can’t be the whip now.
The Apostle Paul got into trouble, Lord remove this thorn from my flesh. He had to pray, he had to go through some tough time. He said, ‘I got so depressed, I got so discouraged, I wanted to die, I prayed I would have to see him’. People get healed and delivered. I’ve raised people from the dead and couldn’t get the thorn out of my own flesh.
The contradictions of being powerful outwardly and conflicted inwardly is enough to make you quit. And still he finished the course with God, who said ‘No to his own prayer.’
What do you do when you’re better on the outside then you are on the inside? I can get rid of your thorn but I got to bear.
Oh my god! this is so good. I’m gonna get my own CD. I’m gonna get this; isn’t it amazing how good you can be at fixing other people’s lives. You know exactly, what they ought to do?
Even Jesus struggled with finishing. He goes to the Garden of Gethsemane and says “I don’t know. Daddy, this is tough for me.’ Then he labored in prayer until sweat like blood-blood like sweat poured through his skin and said, ‘Can I get out of this? Can I get on a horse and ride away? Can I take a camel and ride away from the cross?’ Jesus says “Daddy, Can I quit?”
Three times he prayed ‘Help me to finish.’ Is there a way that I can get out of being me? Is there anybody in here who have ever prayed, ‘Lord, is there a way I can get out of being me?’ Being me is not going so good, being me is not what it’s cracked up to be. Daddy, can I quit.
And finally he says ‘not my will’. That’s where it is, that’s the whole thing. Not my will means, not my way, not my preferences, not my pleasure, not my style, not what I wanted, not what I liked.
With that, I’ve got to stop. I hate to stop right there, but I’ve got to do it.
I want you to hold on to that word. Because, I believe that isn’t relevant. ‘Defying the urge to quit’ is what it’s all about. It’s not always about how many steps you gain forward.. It’s sometimes just resisting the temptation to cave in is Victory. Defy that urge and watch God move supernaturally in your life.
And to all my sisters, where are my sisters at? Can I hear? Yet, Hey! I know you are packing right now. Get ready! For woman Thou Art Loosed October, some good food before maybe a little early the pack but not too early to get your tickets reservations, reserved your CD. I want you to have the best that we have available for you but you don’t have to respond, so we’re gonna run our seats. I want to hear from you right now and come or send somebody. Make it a gift – what if – to a momma – friend send somebody to Atlanta, to experience one of our live. The theme is the wait is over. You are really gonna be blessed by it, have a great one today and know that I’m praying for you. I’m believing in God with you and whether you can meet me in Atlanta or just meet me on television. I am glad for your support of this Ministry.
Thank you, God bless!
“It’s not what they say about you that matters, it is what you say about you that threatens your destiny. You will never be defeated by what they say about you, you will be defeated by what you say about you.”
I go on a job that is full of hell and chaos and smile every morning and do my job. Because it is not about them, it’s about me defying the urge. And oh what an urge it is – to quit. Quit school, quit jobs, quit life, quit friends, quit Church.
Oh! What an urge it is to quit? Politics, puppeteering, preaching. I don’t care what it is. Dentistry, medicine anything! Oh, what an urge it is to quit.
Three times Jesus prayed, ‘Can I get out of being me, I don’t like what is in front of me?’ This is not Burger King and you do not get to have it your way.
And I don’t care if it takes all night, we’re going to make it across the finish line.
You gotta speak to yourself, you gotta tell yourself, you gotta stand up or life will tear you down. You gotta make up your mind. It’s tougher than I thought it was gonna be. And it hurts more than I expected and I may not be the first one across alive. I may not be the best wife, I may not be the best husband, I may not be the best anything. But I’m gonna keep on hoping till I cross.
Hello family! I am so delighted and so blessed of the Lord to be a part of your life in any way. And particularly today, because the series that I’m showing if the preaching series is called ‘Rise above’.
And I know if you’re like me, there are many things you have to rise above just to be who you are to fight the good fight of faith. Sometimes just to get through the day. Take a look at this word and a lot of to penetrate your heart and get you ready for what God is going to do next in your life. You’ve got to be a fighter now. You gotta rise above it but if you do. Ah! God’s got blessings for you, Take a look at this, You’re gonna be blessed.
I go on a job that is full of hell and chaos and smile every morning and do my job. Because it is not about them, it’s about me defying the urge. And oh what an urge it is – to quit. Quit school, quit jobs, quit life, quit friends, quit Church. Oh! What an urge it is to quit? Politics, puppeteering, preaching. I don’t care what it is. Dentistry, medicine anything! Oh, what an urge it is to quit.
Three times Jesus prayed, ‘Can I get out of being me, I don’t know what is in front of me?’ This is not Burger King and you do not get to have it your way.
And I don’t care if it takes all night, we don’t like it. I’ll cross the finish line.
Stick it out! stick it out! stick it out! stick it out! stick it out! stick it out! stick it out! stick it out!
Keep doing what you can at it. You might be in debt and if you don’t get supernatural debt cancellation then, take natural debt cancellation. I keep pulling and throwing and throwing and throwing and throwing, I’m almost finished.
If I’m preaching the right message, say something to me, let me hear you, let me hear you.
I want to preach a minute about Derek and I’ll be gone, Derry!
Everybody else… Leave him alone. Don’t stop him. It’s not about winning. It’s about finishing. I taught my boy to finish. And I don’t care if it takes all night. We don’t make it. Across the finish line.And I came to tell you this morning. I don’t care if it takes all night, I don’t care if I have to cry and crawl, I’m gonna cross. [Applause]
This Sunday morning….
- You may not come in first!
- You may not get a trophy!
- You may not be honored or recognized or even appreciated!
But this is not about them. This is about you. This is about a God who is Alpha and Omega and the beginning and the end. And you may not finish pretty and you may not look good. You may not make the front page on the paper and you may not be talking about you. And you all made to be say nothing but a failure and a rejector.
But the Lord sent me out. I’m here this morning to tell you, keep on hopping, keep on hopping. If you hold out a little while long, you will make it.
I don’t care if….
- You don’t have the money,
- You don’t have the help and
- You don’t have to find me for it and
- You don’t have the background for it and
- You don’t have any friends for it,
Don’t give up on your dream folks you do it, Don’t you do it, don’t you do it.
It may take you twice as long, you may have to take courses and classes. You may not read as fast, you might not move as quick, you might not have this much but don’t you quit.
We’re gonna pull somebody out of their debt right now. We’re gonna pull somebody out and discouragement and depression. We’re gonna pull somebody through college. We’re gonna get a hole to survive as little for our kids through college. Even if they don’t get the loan, if they don’t get the grant, if they got a one part-time job, even if they’re not a students, even if they make seeds and they get tutors and they only make C minus… We’re gonna pull you through.
I want to know you are healer but I don’t want to be sick.
How do you win the fight with the enemy is in me? Is there a way I can be what I need to be without going through what I gotta go through? I fought with haters, liars, backbiters and betrayal that many times, I laid in the bed, I couldn’t go to sleep, cuz I was fighting with myself. I fought
- If you lose a job, keep the faith
- If you lose the spouse, keep the faith
- If you’re bearing your child, keep the faith
- If you have to downsize, keep the faith
- If you have to move in with your mama, keep the faith
There you go, there you go, there you go, there you go, there you go, you gotta speak to yourself. You gotta tell yourself. You gotta stand up or life will tear you down. You gotta make up in your mind. It’s tough of it I thought it was gonna be and it hurts more than I expected. And I may not be the first one across the line. I may not be the best wife, I may not be the best husband, I may not be the best anything, but I’m gonna keep on hopping until I cross the finish line.
One guy, that paper said ‘he shot himself’. I believe in front of his mama and his daughter, because if his wife had died and he was so lonely. Grief. Maybe ever lost somehow I knew I could finish if he was by my side. I never thought you’d leave me, raising these kids by myself. I miss you so bad, I can’t see straight. But I don’t.
If you look for the messages defying the urge to quit. I can feel the urge and I could still defy it.
I’m going to wait 60 seconds and then I’m going to pray. If there’s anybody standing out there that the Lord is touching you and says you need to be in that prayer. You got 52 seconds. Because the enemy loves secrecy. He loves secrecy. You got 45 seconds. Break your pact of silence and come out of your calling of despair.
I don’t quit! Say it.
I don’t quit! Say it.
I don’t quit! Say it.
It’s an urge. It’s an urge to be told.
- Every champion has felt it,
- Every president has felt it,
- Every King has felt it,
- Every lion has felt it,
- Every winner has felt it,
- Every soldier has felt it,
- Every victorious person has felt it, the urge to quit.
Don’t you give up on your dream. I don’t care if you don’t have the money. You don’t have the help and you don’t have the family for it. And you don’t have the background for it and you don’t have it friends for it. Don’t give up on your dream, don’t you do it, don’t you do it, don’t you do it.
It may take you twice as long; you may have to take courses and classes. You may not read as fast, you might not move as quickly, you might not have as much.
But don’t you quit, don’t you quit, don’t you quit.
You do make a difference, you do make a difference, you do make a difference.
As weak as you are, as tired as you are, as many mistakes as you made; you do make a difference.
There is something they would lose if you were not there; there was something that they would miss if you were not there, you do make a difference; you do make a difference, you do make a difference, keep hopping.
This is church, This is what faith is about. This is what I gave my life to do. Jjust to be a voice in your ear, just to encourage you to tell you what you need to hear Because I know what it is to me to hear that so bad. I can’t believe I made it. Yeah! I can’t believe I made it. All these years, I can’t believe it. I really can’t believe it. I really can’t believe it.
There were so many close calls, with so many times I liked it dad and so many times I didn’t see my way clear, so many times I didn’t have enough wisdom, enough support, and enough finances. I can’t believe that I started going to something 19. I can’t believe it 56. I’m still moving. Hundreds of presidents and policies and ages and areas and I’m still a bust of Lincoln if I were allowed to you.
And I took some bruises that had never expected to take it. I lost some people that I thought would always be there. I’ve buried some people that I was callable on the beater with me and they didn’t make it with me. But I’m still here. Don’t you quit. Don’t you quit.
Reach out and touch somebody. This is Church. It is not a black thing, it is not a white thing, it is not a brown thing. It’s not just for men, it’s not just the women, it’s not just for kids.
It’s for people that are trying to hop their way back home. Come hell or high water. Doing the best they can with what they got. That’s who we are – doing the best we can with what we got. And we may not break any ribbons, that we may not get any trophies. But if we could learn how to hang-on in there, we’ll be alright!
Squeeze that person, you touch it because they’re going through something, while you’re going through something, while she’s going through something, while I’m going through something. We all came because we at one time all defied the urge to want to quit.
Right now! I feel like going on. I will not lie to you, I feel like going on. But I have seen days I did not want to get out of the bed, didn’t want to put on clothes, and didn’t even feel like brushing my teeth. I’ve seen days so dark that I just want to keep driving and I didn’t even care where I ended up. On what you called me. They came and they passed, then they came to pass.
Come stand with me! 30-some years. Good days, bad days, work days, lonely days, sick days, afflicted days… On the mountain, in the valley, through the creeks, through the cemetery, at the graveyard, in the emergency room, at the PTA meeting, in the principal’s office, in the doctor’s office… Heart-broken, heads down, still standing, been romantic, being happy, made love, laid on the beach, laid on the unemployment, I had. And you don’t hear what I’m saying.
Before life is over, you got to go through everything. Before life is over, you got to go through everything. Thank you Jesus.
But if you learn how to just get back to back and say this. You crazy, I’m crazy. But if we stick together we’ll get through this thing! You can make it through almost anything. Y’all don’t hear what I’m saying to you, y’all hear what I’m saying to you.
Take them by the hand. We’re gonna pull somebody out of death‘s door right now. We’re gonna pull somebody out of discouragement and depression. We’re gonna pull somebody through college, we’re gonna get a hole to survive, we’re gonna put our kids through college… Even if they don’t give the loan, if they don’t get the grant, if they gotta work part-time jobs… Even if they’re not a students, even if they make seeds, and they get tutors. And they only make C minus and said we’re gonna pull you through squeezing. Don’t quit.
Hey, I’m out of time. I’ve got stuff. It’s been a real joy to be with you. I know you’re gonna fight the urge to quit. I know that you’re an overcomer. I know that you’re gonna rise above.
Thank God for the series and the impact of the season on your life in a personal way. And hey to all of you that are thinking about the verge of coming, the webinar. Get ready. It’s gonna be off of great preachers, great teachers, great speakers. And then there’s Girl Talk. It’s in the world all by itself. I turn it over to my wife and my daughter. Let them do it.
Then when y’all get together, it’s crazy. Be there one of our loose October 2nd through the 4th, Got your name. Come on, check it out.
I want to talk to women who are called to go into the next dimension.
“This is the life-changing event of the year.”
“You can’t think higher than the level that you are exposed to, what you’ve been through, where you come from, you can do it.”
“These are happening lives, you’re changing. “
The lineup is incredibly – able to cut the cord of things that you’ve had in your past. You are coming into the next dimension in a way you have. Make some noise if you’re here.